Adirondack Camp has been able to keep our community safe over the last century and through many global crises through thoughtful preparedness. We have reviewed and are ready to comply with the latest CDC, American Camping Association, and NYS Health Department guidelines for residential camps. Beyond the guidelines, we are uniquely positioned to help campers stay healthy.
At Camp we are very intentional to make sure we take good care of ourselves. Here are some of our day to day health care practices.
We ensure sure campers wash their hands throughout the day: before meals, before and/or after specific activities, after going to the bathroom, and more. Hand washing stations and hand sanitizers are located around Camp. Hand sanitizers are on each dining table. Keeping hands clean is key!
We have two cold water and ice houses at different ends of our peninsula where campers repeatedly fill their water bottles with cold water and pellet ice. It is easy to refill your water bottle, so campers can stay hydrated throughout the day. We wash water bottles through our industrial kitchen sanitizing washer. Campers are encouraged not to share water bottles.
Counselors remind campers to wear sunscreen all the time, and many of our activity areas have sunscreen available. Counselors also help younger campers with putting on sunscreen before the day begins.
Prior to camper arrival, we remove leaves in the highest foot traffic areas of Camp to minimize ticks. We cover this issue in detail during our Staff Training and our Doctor and nurses are well versed in tick prevention and removal. We have routine tick checks as kids head into swimming and at night. If a child has a tick on them they will be sent to the Health Center where the RN will remove the tick in the recommended way, and you will be notified.
What keeps coming to mind is how great my kids look when they come home. It sounds trite but they look so healthy. Their skin is clear, their eyes are bright, and they radiate energy.
An integral part of Camp, our Dining Hall is where campers eat nutritious and well-balanced meals giving them the energy they need to thrive at Camp. We require hand washing at a sink station just outside the Dining Hall prior to meals. Before, during, and after every meal, our Dining Hall and Camp kitchen is cleaned and sanitized, including all touch and food preparation surfaces, equipment, and floors.
We have full-time facility staff who keep Camp clean throughout the summer. In giving Camp a thorough cleaning every single day, we work to make Camp as germ-free as possible.
Our staff sanitizes cabin surfaces and activity areas several times a day, including program equipment between uses and other high traffic buildings, as well as ensuring soap and hand sanitizer dispensers are regularly refilled. As always, our priority is everyone’s safety.
In each cabin, campers clean their own space daily. Each day after breakfast we have an inspection for every cabin where campers have time to work together as a group with counselor supervision to clean their cabins. Our cabins are open-air which is wonderful as they do not get stuffy or hold germs as much as enclosed spaces.
A significant number of our camp counselors are certified in American Red Cross First Aid and CPR, and our back-country staff has advanced emergency medical training.
Our waterfront follows an approved handbook with oversight from the New York State Department of Health. Procedures and plans for emergencies on the water are updated to meet current standards and best practices. All of our boat drivers have taken safe boating courses and our waterski drivers all have New York State Public Vessel Operators licenses. We use both marine band and UHF radios for constant communication with our counselors supervising the waterfront. When inclement weather is a factor our waterfront director supervises the safe removal of all campers from the water and our staff regularly practices rescue scenarios for each waterfront activity.
Every member of our swim staff has been certified for American Red Cross Lifeguard with the waterfront module in addition to the general first aid and CPR certifications. Campers all take swim tests, are rated in any one of five categories of proficiency, receive personalized swim instruction and are restricted from certain swim areas and other activities pending meeting minimum swim criteria. We also abide by common sense rules such as life jackets on at all times when in boats or buddy swimming and only in supervised areas.
Members of our Wilderness Adventure staff have extensive backcountry experience and a minimum of Wilderness First Aid. The team is overseen by our licensed Adirondack Guide and advised by local guides and outfitters. On every trip, a staff member takes a complete back-country medical kit and a copy of each camper’s medical history and emergency contact information. On all trips that may include water exposure a certified lifeguard is also in attendance.
In our pre-summer orientation, and throughout the summer, we talk about the health and safety of our community with our staff ALL the time. Our counselors and Health Center staff know to be on the lookout for any signs of illness and communicate with our families if and when health-related situations arise.
Many of our staff are teachers with families of their own and it is amazing what all of these extra eyes will catch, which only helps to keep our community healthy and safe.
Adirondack has a 10-day training for all staff prior to campers’ arrival. A part of the training focuses on the prevention of communicable diseases including, but not limited to sneeze and cough etiquette and best hand hygiene practices.
Keeping campers safe also relates to their emotional well-being. Our staff training directly addresses issues such as anxiety, stress, and mindfulness.
We are fortunate to have a Health Center with trained and professional talent. With 3+ full-time nurses, a resident Camp Doctor & Health Director, Alison Tothy, MD, Associate Professor Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, campers have immediate dedicated staff on-site at all times. This provides a wealth of knowledge and care that keeps our community safe.
Our nurses dispense medications at mealtime. For emergencies, Moses-Ludington Hospital, a critical care facility, is located nine miles from Camp in Ticonderoga. We are very intentional to communicate with parents when the need arises.